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Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin

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Whatever you do, don't blink, because you just might miss Blue Box Cafe - a quaint Doctor Who-inspired coffee shop and deli in Elgin.

"I'm lucky to have a lot of talented people that work for me. They're all in some way, shape or form artists, whether they draw, sing, paint, act, and they're all very, very creative. They all have some really good skills," said manager and co-owner Christopher Mau. "I'm not that artistically creative - I mean I'm creative in the food end ... and my wife is really creative. She designed everything and made it happen so it worked out really well."

Here's the scoop on this charming fan-favorite eatery.

What's on the menu? This full service coffee and deli bar offers cold sandwiches, salads, soups and a full espresso bar including lattes, cappuccinos and mochas.

About the owner: Mau and his wife, Kathleen, saw an opportunity after the previous coffee shop at the location closed in November 2013. Mau had extensive business knowledge from his previous work in the restaurant field, and he was excited to be able to combine two of his favorite things: Doctor Who and hospitality. While they were going about choosing names for the deli and coffee shop they had a few criteria that had to be met, including a trendy, catchy name that would get people's attention right from the start. That's when they came up with the fitting name Blue Box Cafe.

Mission statement or philosophy: Their philosophy is to have a place that has quality food and makes people feel comfortable about coming every time while offering customers a good overall experience.

The decor: Every true Doctor Who fan knows that the T.A.R.D.I.S is bigger on the inside, so it's no surprise that what appears to be a small, cozy space can fit around 40 customers for fun events. The owners searched for the perfect blue color to paint the cafe and the chalkboards, Doctor Who art and photography and menu tie the whole theme together for a unique style.

Food specialties: Signature sandwiches such as the Elgin Club with oven roasted turkey, roast beef and black forest ham with applewood smoked bacon, Sriracha mayo and pepper jack cheese, and the Blue Box BLT with applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, roma tomatoes and extra mayo on toasted sourdough bread are just a couple of the specialties at Blue Box Cafe. You can also create your own sandwich or choose a tasty salad or soup to pair with your sandwich. Every so often the Blue Box offers feature sandwiches like the Gobbler and the Doctor.

We're different because: Mau explained that he wants to show the customers that the staff at Blue Box cares about the customers and that they're genuine. He hires staff who are friendly and courteous because it's important for customers to walk in and see a friendly face. It's also important for him as the owner to be behind the counter instead of behind the scenes.

Extras: Geek-N-out is offered most Friday evenings. The evening is geared toward the gamer crowd, and people can come in and play different games or watch movies like "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." On most Saturdays Blue Box Cafe has partnered with a company called South Gate Media to create an event called "Live at the Blue Box," a live podcast where customers can come in and listen to Mau and others discuss different topics as they interview authors or bands.

Price range: Prices can vary anywhere between a PB and J that costs $4.99 and the signature sandwiches that cost $7.99 or more. Salads range between $4.99 and $7.99 and a cup of coffee can be $1.90 with a refill for $1.50, while a 20 oz. mocha is $4.65. The average price of a lunch with a signature sandwich, chips and a drink is around $10 or $11.

Logistics: Blue Box Cafe is located at 176 E. Chicago St. in Elgin, on the corner of Chicago and Spring streets. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, go to

Caption: Christopher and Kathleen Mau run the Dr. Who-themed coffee shop in Elgin. Sandwiches and coffee are the main fare at the Blue Box Cafe in Elgin.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Weddle, Jen (2015-04-10). Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin. Naperville Sun p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Weddle, Jen. "Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin." Naperville Sun [add city] 2015-04-10, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Weddle, Jen. "Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin." Naperville Sun, edition, sec., 2015-04-10
  • Turabian: Weddle, Jen. "Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin." Naperville Sun, 2015-04-10, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin | url=,_food,_comfort_to_Elgin | work=Naperville Sun | pages=3 | date=2015-04-10 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 July 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Blue Box Cafe brings fun, food, comfort to Elgin | url=,_food,_comfort_to_Elgin | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 July 2020}}</ref>